From every corner of the world we are hearing the word, grief. From news anchors to preachers, from corporate leaders to health care administrators, from the clerk at the store to our neighbors next door, we all see and feel the heaviness of loss, change…grief.
Recently I heard someone say “we are all in the same boat, but we’re not all in the same storm.”
The losses or changes are different. Some are experiencing Death from COVID-19 while others are going through pandemics of personal losses or lifestyle changes:
- Security & Safety
Many people have similar concerns. They want to be helpful but were never taught the correct way to talk with grievers. There are no classes in school on how to help people when they have experienced significant emotional loss, so most people simply say what parents, friends, and teachers have taught them; or say what was said to them when their own hearts were broken.
When people don’t know what to say to grievers, they often don’t say anything at all. This leaves grievers feeling isolated and alone, when what they want, and need, is to be listened to without criticism, analysis, or judgment.
When grievers do build up the courage to share their emotions, sympathetic friends usually say, “I know how you feel”. That well-meaning phrase robs grievers of the opportunity openly share their feelings.
Then listen to the reply.
Let grievers talk openly and freely without sharing your own experiences, correcting them, or interrupting. They will then feel safe and “heard”, which is invaluable. Our presence to another is much more helpful than our words. There are never enough words to fix a broken heart.
For more information on how to talk to grievers, attend a free one-hour introduction to The Grief Recovery Method®. Details of times and zoom links can be found on www.walkingwithjoy.com or call 865-963-9221.